Buyer/Seller Information


Buying a Home

If you are thinking about buying a home, here are some important tips:

  • Think carefully about why you want to buy a home before venturing in to the process. Are you currently renting? Have you decided the home you own no longer fits your needs? Are you interested in buying a second home or investment property? The reasons behind your decision to buy will dictate both your preparation and the process you will follow.

  • Consider your financial status and whether it is conducive to your home buying interests. Do you have a home you will need to sell in order to purchase? Do you have sufficient dollars for a down payment and closing costs? Do you have enough income each month to take on additional obligations? How is your credit?

  • Select a professional Realtor to assist you through the entire process. You don’t just need an agent that knows the market and how to find you a home. You also need someone that can guide and counsel you through the complexities of the entire buying process, including negotiation, financing and closing. Look for an agent with strong local knowledge and experience and make sure they have the credentials necessary to assist with the type of purchase you anticipate.

  • Select a lender who will thoroughly brief you on the various financing programs that would best meet your specific needs. Your real estate agent should be able to guide you to lenders that are responsive, capable and knowledgeable so that you can immediately begin the application process.

  • Once the “fun” part of the process begins, you should have your loan process well underway and have a clear idea of what kind of house you are seeking. Now it’s just a matter of finding the home you love and making it your own.

  • Once you find the right home, your real estate agent will assist you in making an offer. They will provide you with a comparative market analysis so you will have a clear idea of the price you feel comfortable paying. Remember, you, ultimately, will determine the value the home has for you and your family. At this time, you will need to provide an earnest money deposit that will be placed in escrow until the time of settlement. Your agent will discuss with you the amount and disposition.

  • Once the contract is ratified and the various contingencies have been satisfied, such as the home inspection and financing, the next step is settlement. Settlement will be conducted by a settlement agent or attorney and is typically attended by the buyer and seller and both real estate agents. Your agent will advise you what to bring, but most important will be a certified check in the amount necessary to cover your down payment and any closing costs.

  • At settlement you will receive keys to the home!

Selling A Home

    Selling a home is a process that takes time, dedication and the ability to stay on top of changing conditions that may suggest a change of approach or strategy. Knowing that the typical goal is to sell a home in the shortest amount of time for the best price and terms, it takes a serious seller to navigate the waters of our current real estate market.

  • Determine why you want to sell. Is it a discretionary decision or is there a compelling reason that you “need” to sell. The answer will dictate both your timing and overall approach to the sales process.

  • If you are planning to sell your home in order to purchase another, it’s important to know in advance the price range in which you are seeking to buy and whether the cash you need for that purchase is coming from the sale of your current home.

  • Depending upon the circumstances of your sale, you will want to carefully select a professional real estate agent to list your home for sale. They should be an experienced agent in your particular marketplace and possess the credentials and certifications necessary to assist you with any aspects of your sale that require specialized training.

  • Pricing your home is key since the competition in the market is intense. Work with your agent to understand the importance of getting the price “right” to optimize the likelihood of meeting your selling goals.

  • Look at every offer with an open mind and try to resist reacting personally. The media and the market have made expressed very loudly that this is a buyer’s market, so most buyers will at least begin a negotiation from that position. If you have priced your home with documentable justification, you will be able to respond accordingly. But remember, there are still some buyers in the market that are looking at a home solely as an investment and not a place to call home. Those people may not be your buyer. Also, try to interpret any offer as a compliment. Better to have offers, even if they aren’t in the amount you might feel is appropriate, than to have no offers at all. You are ultimately in control since you can say “no” or “yes” to any offer to purchase.

  • When you receive an offer whose price and terms meet your approval, make sure to carefully scrutinize the financing terms before accepting. The contract is only good if the buyer has the ability to perform and get to settlement. Your agent will guide you as to how to make this assessment with as much certainty as possible.

  • When you receive an offer you want to accept, it will be accompanied by an earnest money deposit and will likely have some contingencies. Expect a home inspection contingency and view it from the buyer’s perspective. If something is broken or defective, you would probably want it repaired as well.

  • Once all contingencies have been release and the buyer’s loan is approved, the final step is closing. At that time, you will turn over the keys to the home and move on to the next chapter in your life.